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Toronto Review: ‘Beautiful Boy’ (★★★)

 Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet both give Oscar-worthy performances as a father and son dealing with the son’s drug addiction in this affecting true story Stories about drug and alcohol addiction almost come ready with no empathy assembly required. We want to see people overcome this disease and are automatically rooting for them to do so. But, we also know that …

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Toronto Review: Nicole Kidman in ‘Destroyer’ (★★★½)

In Karyn Kusama’s gritty and grimy crime thriller Destroyer, Nicole Kidman plays Erin Bell, a grizzled LA detective only James Ellroy could love and gives one of the best performances of her career. Kusama, with her best film since her 2000 Sundance debut Girlfight (starring a then-unknown Michelle Rodriguez), wastes no time getting to it opening with an unrecognizable Kidman; …

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Toronto Review: ‘Widows’ (★★★½)

Steve McQueen’s twisty thriller finds room for a heist, family drama, racial politics and violence, and gender issues all led by a powerhouse performance from Viola Davis Widows doesn’t waste any time setting itself up. In a virtuoso opening sequence, a heist gone wrong led by Harry (Liam Neeson) with his cohorts Florek (Jon Bernthal) and Carlos (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), is intercut …

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Toronto Review: ‘Consequences’

Courtesy TIFF Looking back at childhood from the safe distance of adulthood, many of us find ourselves surprised to realize that our parents essentially had no idea what they were doing.  They may have projected a stalwart front, hiding a   closely guarded secret, yet making it up as they went along.  Sometimes, miraculously, this approach stumbles into accidental effectiveness. …

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Toronto Review: ‘Capernaum’

Photo courtesy: TIFF There is a moment in Nadine Labaki’s CAPERNAUM which perfectly encapsulates the profound conundrum it presents. Her face crumpled with premature age and agony, Saoud (Kawthar Al Haddad), makes a plea to a judge that will ultimately decide the fate of her family. We, the audience, feel as if she is imploring us directly: don’t judge me. You haven’t walked a …

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Review: Glenn Close is Oscar-worthy in ‘The Wife’

Glenn is ready for her Close-up in ‘The Wife’ No one can do a cold stare like Glenn Close. Throughout her new film, The Wife, Close, in a career-defining and Oscar-worthy performance, often sits just outside the film’s focus; usually to the side of her novelist husband Joe Castleman (played with pure academic arrogance and perfection by Jonathan Pryce), aiming …

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